Don’t worry Survivor fans, you really are the ones—and the only ones—voting for the next cast of the CBS reality show. Host Jeff Probst got viewers all atwitter on Twitter on Wednesday when he announced at the end of that night’s World Apart episode that fans would be able to vote in the next cast of 20 from a pool of 32 former players. And not just part of the cast—like on the network’s Big Brother: All-Stars back in 2006, when viewers picked eight contestants and producers picked six others—but the entire cast.
However, a few-eagle eyed fans and former contestants noticed something that seemed to contradict that in the fine print found in the Terms and Conditions page that accompanied the online voting—a section that read: “A combination of votes from CBS & the public will decide who from amongst the nominees presented will become the Fall 2015 Survivor cast.”
A combination of votes from CBS & the public? That’s not what Jeff Probst told Entertainment Weekly in our exclusive interview about the twist, nor how the voting was being promoted anywhere else on the Survivor website or in a press release about the twist. Naturally, it was time to investigate. A source close to the show informs me that the language in the terms and conditions was mistakenly added in by someone on the network’s legal team. The good news? It’s now gone. The text now reads, “The public will decide who from amongst the nominees presented will become the Fall 2015 Survivor cast.”
CBS also released a statement to EW on the matter, and managed to have a bit of fun with it in the process: “We voted the lawyers off of the island. The language has been corrected. It’s only the fans’ vote that counts. Always has been.”
So there you have it—controversy averted! And as for that other controversy about the big spoiler of having Mike and Carolyn—who are still in the running the win the current Worlds Apart season—being on the list for next season’s no winners installment? Jeff Probst told us in our excusive interview that, “As you would expect from Survivor, we found a way to add a little twist, a little layer of mystery, into the second chance voting. So the definition of Second Chance is, contestants who have only played once and never won. So, that means either Mike and Carolyn both lost, or one of them could be, ultimately, ineligible…. It it was Carolyn who won and she had a bunch of votes but wasn’t able to play, then whoever was the eleventh woman would suddenly be in the game.”
To hear from the 32 eligible Second Chance nominees on how they would play differently if selected to play a second time, check out our exclusive cast gallery. And for more ‘Survivor’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.